Friday, April 11, 2014

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

I may be becoming one of those people. 
You know.... those people that constantly say "this is the best thing ever", about everything. 
I do that.
Hear me out though. 
I'm usually right. 
In fact.... who are we kidding...I'm always right. 
Shut up Sue. I am.
Anyway... while this can be obnoxious when others do it, it's cute and endearing when I do it. 
Again....Shut up Sue.
Take this dish, for example. 
This really is THE BEST THING EVER.
For realz this time.
So many delicious flavors and textures going on for a fantabulous nutritional count. 
Make it. 
You'll see what I'm talking about.

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

1 spaghetti squash (yielding 2 - 2 1/2 cups)
1 Tbsp light cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup 1% milk
1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
salt & pepper
2 pieces bacon, diced
1/4 cup onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 large egg

1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, garnish

Cook the spaghetti squash using your preferred method. (We cut ours in half, scoop out the seeds, place cut side down on a plate and microwave for 10 - 15 minutes - until tender)
Let the squash cool until you can handle it with bare hands. Using a fork, scrape the squash into a bowl. (If you are worried about excess liquid then you may want to place in a strainer in the sink and set a bit of weight on it for a bit to press out the excess liquid. FYI - I don't do this as I don't worry about a little excess liquid)
In a small bowl, whisk the softened cream cheese and Parmesan cheese together. Very slowly whisk in the milk - about 1 Tbsp at a time - until smooth. Whisk in the parsley and salt & pepper and set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until is starts to get crispy. Add in the onion and garlic and continue to cook until onions are softened, about 3 - 5 minutes. 

When softened, add in the spaghetti squash and toss to combine with the bacon/onion mixture. Keep tossing while cooking to heat the squash through.
When it seems hot, pour in the cheese mixture.

Continue to cook and stir and evenly distribute the cheese mixture. 
Turn the heat to low.
Take the chicken broth and heat it up so it is hot to touch but not boiling - 30 / 40 seconds in the microwave. Whisk the egg into the hot chicken broth.

Pour the egg mixture over the spaghetti sauce in the pan. Stir constantly in the pan until the sauce on the squash thicken up - about 2 - 3 minutes. Serve hot. Sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese.

You may find a bit of excess liquid forming in the pan that you don't want. Simply pour off the excess liquid from the pan before you serve it. 

This is as good as regular spaghetti carbonara but without all the carbs and calories. Granted, the sauce is thinner because we are not using heavy cream and butter and tons of cheese and all those glorious things BUT it is still just as flavorful, in my opinion. 
I am in love with the fact that you can sub spaghetti squash for regular pasta in many dishes.
Here's some even better news from Myfitnesspal: per serving - and this recipe is 2 servings - it is:
212 calories, 14.5 carbs, 10 fat, and 14 protein. 
I could only eat 1 serving for dinner. It is very filling. 

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